Tiger Who?

Geoff TownsendAnalyst IAugust 12, 2008

Does Padraig Harrington have the world asking where Tiger is or trying to remember who he is altogether?

It seems far-fetched, I know, but by winning the PGA Championship and his second consecutive major, Harrington may have turned more heads than you think.

No player since 2000 has won more than once in a season.

Except of course for Tiger Woods, who has 4 PGA seasons in which he has won two or more tour championships.

Padraig Harrington has captured the empty hearts of SportsCenter addicts and the nothing-else-is-on golf crowd.

As we wait for Tiger Woods to bring his dominance and swagger back to the links, we are left to watch the best of the rest, and Harrington has surely accepted that title.

He battled the crowds and the cameras-and Mother Nature-at the British Open to defeat Greg Norman and the Cinderella glitz that he carried into the final round.

Then Harrington followed that performance up with back-to-back rounds of 66 to beat Sergio Garcia at the PGA Championship.

Has the unassuming Irishman captured more than the lonely hearts of golf fans, or is he simply on an asterisk-laden voyage to the Tiger-less list of tournament winners.

Padraig Harrington is no slouch.

His game is consistent and true, but does the energy falter when Woods is out of the lineup?

Few fair-weather fans knew that the final Tour event was even played last week. There was no practice round hype.

There wasn't the three week advertising campaign that includes Tiger and a Buick. There was no energy.

The Tour seems secondary since Tiger underwent another knee surgery.

In no way do Harrington's accomplishments fall to deaf ears, but outside of PGA circles he may be another supporting actor in the soap opera that has become the "Tiger Woods Saga".

His wins have not come easy, nor have they come without challengers, but his wins may ultimately be seen as flawed.

Woods will be known as the greatest player to swing a golf club. It may be hard to speak loud enough to turn heads and be acknowledged as a legitimate champion.

Harrington deserves the toasts he receives. Once Tiger comes back, though, I'm afraid he will be nothing more than an opening act.

His wins will always be in the books, but only Woods matters right now. On a grand scale anyway.

The accomplishments of any winner until Woods' return will be equal to what Harrington has done. It will be noted that Woods was not in the field.

It is unfortunate for those of us who enjoy competitive golf, but it is the dim reality.

Tiger Woods owns the media and the PGA Tour with it.  Until he comes back, we will hear more of Woods' rehab than the third round scores of an event he couldn't partake in.

Bare with it golf fans, it's going to be a long winter.